Jeff Bezos selects female aerospace pioneers to launch with him

Wally Funk, 60 years after passing astronaut tests but being barred as a result of her gender, will launch into space with Jeff Bezos in three weeks.

Jeff Bezos selects female aerospace pioneers to launch with him

Blue Origin, Bezos’ company, announced Thursday that the pioneering pilot would be flying in the capsule on the July 20 launch from West Texas. He will also join his brother, the winner of a $28million charity auction.

She'll be 82 years old and the oldest person to go into space.

Funk was the youngest among the Mercury 13 women who underwent astronaut testing in early 1960s. However, they never reached space or NASA's astronaut corps because they were all female. All of NASA's astronauts back then were military pilots.

Funk stated that she is "fabulous" to finally be able to travel to space.

"I will love every second of it. Heeee! Ha-ha. "I can't wait," Funk stated in an Instagram video that Bezos posted.

She said, "Nothing has ever got in my way," She said that they said "Well, you're just a girl, so you can't do it." I replied, "Guess what? It doesn't really matter who you are." It's possible to still do it, if you really want it. I love to do things no one has done before.

She'll be beating John Glenn, who at 77 set a record when he flew aboard the spaceship Discovery in 1998. Glenn dismissed the possibility of women flying into space shortly after becoming the first American to orbit Earth in 1962.

Bezos stated via Instagram, "No one has waited more." It's now. Wally, welcome to the crew.

Amazon founder Alexa will be stepping down Monday as CEO.

After 15 successful test flights, the launch will be open to paying customers. Blue Origin has not yet announced ticket prices, or when the public will be able to strap into the six-seat capsule. It reaches an altitude just above the edge of space at 65 miles. The flights take about 10 minutes.

Named after Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard and the 52nd anniversary for the Apollo 11 moon landing, the reusable rocket will be launched.

Funk, who lives in Dallas, was the first female Federal Aviation Administration inspector and the first female National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator. She stated that she has more than 3,000 flight hours and has 19600 flying hours.

Six days of intense physical testing were administered to her, along with two dozen other female pilots. These tests were the same as those used in 1961 and 1960 for Mercury astronaut candidates. After the Mercury 7 men were tested, the doctor had heard that the Soviets wanted to send a woman into space. He wanted to know if women could withstand the weightlessness.

Candidates had to spend hours in isolation, swallow rubber hose and have needles stuck in their heads among other things.

13 of the women, including Funk, passed. The program was cancelled abruptly and in 1963, the Soviets launched Valentina Tereshkova into space.

Funk recalls, "They told me they thought I was better and had completed the work quicker than the other guys." "So I was able to get hold of NASA four more times. I stated that I wanted to be an astronaut but no one would accept me. "I didn't believe I would get the chance to go up."

Sally Ride, who was killed in 2012, was the first American woman to fly into space. Eileen Collins, an American woman who piloted the spaceship Discovery in 1995, was the first time that an American woman has manned a spaceship. For that launch, many of the Mercury 13 women met at Cape Canaveral.

Funk was eager to travel to space and reserved a seat on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic rocket ship years ago. Funk is still on the company's passenger list. The company plans to fly three more test flights out of New Mexico with Branson aboard, before launching customers.

Funk is shown by Bezos explaining to Funk how Blue Origin passengers will feel zero gravity for a few seconds, then land gently on the desert floor and open the hatch.

"You take a step outside. He asked her, "What's your first thought?"

Funk responded, hugging Bezos tightly.

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